Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is associated with high rates of incidence, morbidity, mortality. Currently, the choice of treatment for these patients depends on the determination of tumor stage. However, patients with tumors of the same stage and same location may present different outcomes.Recently, infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) has been described as an etiologic factor for the development of a subset of these patients, mainly in the oropharynx tumors. While the incidence of squamous cell carcinomas of other sites has decreased, the incidence of oropharyngeal tumors has increased. Moreover, as HPV-negative tumors, the subgroup of tumors associated with HPV infection have differences in clinical presentation, response profiles and treatment outcome.The presence of hypermethylation in the promoter region of specific genes is associated with repression of gene expression and has been considered a major change with potential as a molecular marker in various tumors, including HNSCC.In view of this, this study aims to assess the difference in the methylation profile of specific genes between tumors induced by HPV (HPV-positive) and tumors induced by carcinogens (HPV-negative) in samples from patients with HNSCC, enabling a better understanding of the molecular characteristics that define the different subgroups of these tumors and, consequently, a more accurate determination of prognosis and better delineation of the treatment of these patients, contributing to quality of life and improved survival rates.
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